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Gov. Mike DeWine: Athletes can compete at Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus; No spectators or expo because of coronavirus concerns

The only exception for spectators will be for the Arnold Classic finals on Saturday night.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Arnold Sports Festival will have athletes competing this year but there will be no spectators.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday that the athletic competitions will go on as scheduled but no one will be allowed in the Greater Columbus Convention Center due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The only exception for spectators will be for the finals on Saturday night.

Gov. DeWine says after new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about large public gatherings, they have decided to limit this year’s event.

"This was certainly not an easy decision, but based on what we know at this moment, we believe it was the right decision at the right time," DeWine said.

Actor and event co-producer Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted about the developments on Tuesday evening. "It’s a sad day for me and everyone at the @ArnoldSports team. But we will always put our fans’ health first. After discussions with @GovMikeDeWine, @MayorGinther, and the CDC, we will be postponing the expo because we can’t risk bringing 250,000 people together with #COVID19."

Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said they are excluding roughly 20 athletes from five affected countries: China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, and Italy.

All athletes will be asked if they traveled to those countries as well.

This is a developing story. You can watch in the player below.

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